Barnet might have four points from two games so far but manager Martin Allen has warned his players they face a tough test against Blackpool tonight (8pm).
Allen’s players were 2-0 winners over Accrington Stanley on Saturday, seven days on from a season-opening draw with Cambridge.
It leaves them second in the embryonic League Two table but Allen believes nobody should take the Seasiders – and their boss Gary Bowyer – lightly, especially as they seek a rapid response to their first defeat of the season at Morecambe on Saturday.
“They have a good manager,” Allen said. “He did a good job at Blackburn. God knows why they sacked him – it was a crazy move.
“He’s got some good players. They beat Exeter last week and did really well. They are just behind us in the league and he has a decent team.”
The teams last met in the FA Cup last November, when Pool played a league above but still lost the first round tie 2-0.
Striker Michael Gash was a scorer that night but will be missing this evening, meaning a recall to the squad for Shaun Batt.
The 29-year-old striker, who counts Millwall and Stevenage among his former clubs, is in his second season at The Hive.
He is still to find the net for the first team and has borne the brunt of criticism from a section of the Barnet supporters.
Allen, nevertheless, remains a big fan and called on the club’s fans to give Batt their backing.
“He’s a great bloke and he trains as hard, if not harder, than anybody else,” Allen said.
“Perhaps he’s tried so hard he’s tried to work too well. Perhaps at times it’s affected his performance.
“I’ve seen some of the criticisms of him. Some of the stuff that’s been written about him is quite disgusting. The abuse and criticism of some of the players here is sadly not good.”
Blackpool fans tempted to make the trip to north London tonight can pay on the gate.
The admission price is £25 (£14 concessions, £5 under-14s).
Blackpool have finalised dates for their remaining group games in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Having already announced the home clash with Cheltenham Town for August 30, Pool have now confirmed their visit to Bolton for Tuesday October 4 and the home clash with Everton Under-23s for Tuesday November 8.
The competition replaces the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, with the addition of academy teams from some Premier League and Championship clubs.
All competing teams will play three group games in the first stage.